Who God Really Is

15 Oct

Many people assume that, because I am active in the pro-choice, pro-bodily autonomy movement, I am an atheist. I’m not. God and reproductive justice are not, and should not be, exclusive from each other. In fact, as taboo as it may be, Christian women abort, too. Now, I don’t belong to an organized religion, but I do believe in God. I was brought up as a Catholic. I actually found Catholicism to be detrimental to my faith in God. There has always been something in the Catholic church that has told me “Get out. We don’t want you here”. Some people find peace and love in the Catholic church, pro-choicers included, so I don’t mean to bash Catholics. I just found that the Catholic church was not the most welcoming or loving place for me.

When I got old enough and rebellious enough, I defied my parents’ wishes and just stopped going to church. That was when I started believing in God, ironically enough.

To many people, liberty and God seem like two totally conflicting ideas. I don’t blame them for thinking this. It seems like the loudest believers in God, the loudest Christians in particular, are ready and willing to use God as a weapon against all people who they deem unworthy of respect (all women, people of color, people who aren’t straight, etc). These are the people who will gladly do everything that Jesus wouldn’t do and say that their actions are in the name of God.

However, these people don’t represent all, or even most, believers. Many of us do not agree with the thought that God is a weapon. Many of us are opposed to the idea that God loves a white, cis-man more than a trans woman of color. Many of us are in disagreement with the idea that God should be restricting to our lives. Many of us find God to be liberating and meaningful.

I have found that believing in God has been the most liberating I’ve done in my whole life. When I feel that I’m in touch with God, I feel like I know myself. I feel inspired, alive, and free. I feel loved, even when I’m alone. I feel like I am able to give love, even when I’m exhausted with the downfalls of humanity. Being in touch with, as opposed to just believing in, God has given me such a beautiful perspective on life. I feel encouraged and full of energy.

In this way, my belief in God has boosted my enthusiasm for the pro-choice movement. When I found the reproductive justice movement, I found God’s calling for my life. God’s purpose for our lives isn’t to spend our time hurting people, lying, and gossiping like many anti-choicers do. Instead of hurting, lying, and gossiping, wouldn’t it make more sense that God wants us to fight, with love and passion, for the rights of all people, women included? Isn’t that who God really is?

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9 Responses to “Who God Really Is”

  1. sexgenderbody October 15, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    This atheist LOVES your post!

    -arvan

  2. Blue Collar Todd October 16, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    You concept of God seems void of any real meaning. What attributes to think God has, character? Is God loving, just, righteous, a hater of evil, a lover of good, giving just reward and punishment based on our belief if Jesus? If you asked God, “Can I kill it?”, do you think God would want to know want “it” is? I would think it would be important for us to answer that question as well.

    If we are created in the image of God, as I think we are, then we have intrinsic value as a result of that and no arbitrary decision by those in power over the weaker person should be able to decide that this or that life is unworthy of life. If you do not ground our value in that truth, then there is no objective basis for our value. The same arguments you use to justify the killing of the unborn boy or girl could be used to against the elderly, the sick and the disabled. God is just and also merciful, and I think God would be concerned about the most helpless and defenseless class of humanity, those created in God’s image, being killed for whatever reason.

  3. S.e. Sullivan October 17, 2010 at 8:35 am #

    Thank you for this post. Liberation theologian James Cone writes, “To live as a Christian simply means being what God has made us, namely, liberated creatures committed to the freedom of humanity.” Not to imply here that you are a Christian, only to point out that your talk of loving God as liberating was very powerful for me. I am in seminary and I can tell you that most of us at Drew (in Madison, NJ) believe that a belief in God creates an involvement in the social justice movement. Now let’s just hope enough of us will speak up in the pulpit after seminary!

  4. KushielsMoon October 17, 2010 at 4:22 pm #

    It seems pretty clear, Todd, that she sees God as a God of love. She says God wants us to fight for people’s rights- sounds like a just God to me.

    As for deciding value of life, I hope that antichoicers will soon see the value of the life of a woman. Antis seem to think they can decide that fetal life is more important than a living, breathing, thinking woman. We prochoicers are here to stand up for women, whether it be to help them avoid harassment at the clinic or to help in their education on contraceptives.

    As for being made in God’s image- Which image below do you think was the one God was talking about?
    http://www.regionalfertilityprogram.ca/assets/zygote.jpg
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_4Nea7IyUz9c/ScKSO82kDaI/AAAAAAAABJ4/-HPHlgFOEO0/s400/p103239-1.jpg

  5. ProChoiceGal October 19, 2010 at 12:43 am #

    I love that quote, S.e. Sullivan!

    Part of the reason I wrote this post (other than just feeling inspired :) ) was to reach out to atheists. Not in the “I’m going to try to convert you!” sense, but to show them that God isn’t always used as a weapon. I think a lot of atheists feel that religion/God is always a weapon, and that’s very understandable with the way that a lot of religious people act. It doesn’t have to be that way, though.

  6. Blue Collar Todd October 19, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    @KushielsMoon,

    At what point is there new genetic information imparted to the unborn after conception? If you infer that size matters and is a qualifier of one’s personhood as the pictures you posted seem to indicated, then that would apply to persons regardless of birth.

    We are all genetically human from conception, the way God made us, in God’s image. If personhood is not intrinsic in out being created in God’s image then it is degreed, which means we could have more or less of it, be more or less human. But on what criteria? Based on yours it is the “choice” of the mother, the one in a position of power over the weaker human.

    It is argued by abortion advocates that killing the unborn baby for a birth defect, often minor ones, is more compassionate than letting them live. Why stop there, eugenic in the womb can be applied outside of the womb. Nothing has changed but the location of the life. Infanticide is justified under this view as well. Seems like those advocating for abortion rights have some serious problems with their view.

  7. L. October 19, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    Very well stated Todd.

    kushielsmoon -

    You seem to believe that worth depends upon a human being acheiving a particular developmental level. Do you realize that the human brain continues rapid development from about the 14th week of gestation until five years after birth? So would you argue that because a three year old human’s brain is not completely developed, then we should place less value upon that life? At 22 weeks the brain prduces auditory and visual waves and the fetus responds to sound. At 24 weeks fetal lungs are capable of breathing air, so where it is living is just a matter of geography. So what makes a human outside the uterus worth more than a human inside the uterus? Please explain.

  8. KushielsMoon October 20, 2010 at 10:32 pm #

    Todd, I didn’t say anything about size. I did ask you a simple question. When you picture God, do you picture a zygote? An embryo? Or a born, living, breathing, human being?

    I did not make any statements about being more or less human. Please do not make assumptions about me.

    L. I made no statements about the worth of human beings or development levels. I did not put value on anything because of it’s brain size or development. You too are bringing up things which I never stated.

  9. Blue Collar Todd October 26, 2010 at 11:07 am #

    @KushielsMoon,

    I associate any human life no matter what stage of development with value and being created in the image of God. The point I was making is the arbitrary nature of the decision by anti-lifers. So to kill the unborn baby girl through abortion is equal to killing a newborn baby girl, a two year old girl, a teenage girl, and an adult woman. Nothing new is added, all the potential is there unless someone arbitrarily decides that such life is not worthy of life.

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